Cannabis and Epilepsy; My Personal Journey to Relief
By: Christa F.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post highlights one person’s personal experience using cannabis to treat her epilepsy. Cannabis effects everyone differently & may not have the same results for all.
ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting a new treatment regimen. Self diagnoses does not replace medical care.
Have you ever been watching your favorite show, but all of a sudden you missed the last twenty minutes? Have you ever spaced out in the middle of a conversation? Have you ever collapsed and started convulsing? I have; welcome to epilepsy. Six years ago, I noticed that I was spacing out more than ever, hundreds of times a day or more, so I decided to see a doctor and get checked out. Fast forward a few months through many appointments, and boom, I have epilepsy. It didn’t seem like a serious problem at first. I mean, come on, I wasn’t flopping like a fish on dry land so I couldn’t be having seizures, right? Turns out, there are MANY types of seizures and I started experiencing the variety first-hand.
Epilepsy is a mysterious illness. It can be present from birth, or it can develop throughout life. It can be caused by an underlying condition, or by nothing at all. According to the CDC, there are about 3.4 million people with epilepsy nationwide. Let me tell you, having seizures can be terrifying. Afterwards, I’m confused and unsure of what just happened, and the people around me are just as worried. Most seizures only last a few seconds to a couple of minutes and will end on their own, but there are IMPORTANT things to remember if you’re witnessing someone having a seizure:
- Stay there and time the seizure.
- Don’t force anything into the person’s mouth – you’ll cause more injury.
- Don’t restrain the person. If there’s an object around they can get hurt from – move the object or shield the object (especially sharp corners) with a blanket or jacket.
- Turn the person on their side if they aren’t awake or aware.
- Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes; repeated seizures; difficulty breathing; seizure occurs in water; person is injured, person is pregnant or sick; person does not return to their usual state, first time experiencing seizure; or the person asks for medical help.
Treatment and medication for Epilepsy is a tricky thing – it’s like cannabis, everyone has different reactions. I can’t even count the number of medications I’ve tried. One medicine worked for one type of seizure, while another medicine worked for another type of seizure. There was a time where I was on a different medication for each different seizure. Then, things changed for me. I read that the FDA approved it’s first cannabis-based drug called Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution. It got approved to treat two specific types of epilepsy, unfortunately, not for “my version” of epilepsy. However it got me thinking, does cannabis really help with epilepsy? I had been a casual user and enjoyed cannabis, but wasn’t aware of it’s full potential–particularly the use of CBD. CBD products have been shown to support inflammatory relief, reduce stress and anxiety, and work as an anticonvulsant. After speaking with many budtenders and trying out products first hand, I personally found relief in CBD heavy edibles and tinctures and CBN products. Because of these products, I’ve experienced so many benefits from this glorious plant; reduced anxiety over seizures, reduced frequency of seizures, and reduced pain after a seizure. I use the Treetown 1:2 Gummies to ease any anxiety I’m feeling, CBN gummies every night to help with sleep and to reduce seizures during the night, and Medie Edie’s 6000mg CBD Tincture to help with recovery post seizure. I’ll admit, I still take a couple of prescribed medications; after all, cannabis is not a cure for epilepsy…we don’t have one of those yet. As expected, It’s not perfect but I’m thrilled with the progress! Let me break down the improvement I’ve experienced:
- No medication/ No cannabis use: 12-15 seizures/weekly
- Medication (current regimen) only: 1-3 seizures/weekly
- Cannabis use only: 3-5 seizures/monthly
- Medication + Cannabis use: 1-2 seizures/monthly
Because I have a treatment regimen that works and an understanding support team, Epilepsy is a part of my life, but doesn’t consume my life. I’ve found my security and comfort with the help of cannabis and know there are others who need to hear about the potential benefits of this miracle plant. March 26th is Epilepsy Awareness Day, the perfect day to grab a 2:1 Pucker Up Pre-Roll and spark up a conversation about how cannabis can help someone you love. -C.C.
Christa is passionate about three things: cannabis, advocating for epilepsy, and her fur-babies. She grew up in Metro-Detroit and hasn’t found a reason to leave yet. She is one of the friendly voices on the phone ready to help. She always says “right on” and enjoys being able to provide guidance and recommendations.